Mandala is an old Sanskrit word for circle that, in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism, has come to mean a feeling of completeness. When Tibetan monks make a mandala offering, they are offering up the universe in a microcosm to Buddha. Thus it follows that Mandala, the fragrance, offers up the gift of every precious material that monks possess to the Gods – frankincense, myrrh, ambergris, and precious spices.
The scent opens with the dark, coca cola effervescence of ebony woods, frankincense, and myrrh, immediately flooding the soul with a sense of reverence and peace. At once exotic and atmospheric, one can almost feel cool stone at one’s back and hear the low chant of the monks. But despite the rich density of resin and spice, the scent feels weightless and airy. The peppery incense floats over a cool, soapy canopy of cardamom and angelica, which parts to reveal not a church ceiling but the open night sky. A trace of saline moss and ambergris in the base steadies the resins and spices, fixing them in a verdant earthiness that feels solid, grounded. Mandala is Eastern Zen in a bottle.